The Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI) wants Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to intervene in the lack of foreign workers as it is damaging the businesses of Indian entrepreneurs.
MAICCI president N Gobalakrishnan said Indian entrepreneurs in the textile, gold, hairdressing, rusted metals, grocery, newspaper distribution and restaurant industries need around 50,000 foreign workers, immediately.
“When we brought this issue to the Pakatan Harapan government, the government said they would have town hall sessions on this.
“After a few town hall sessions, it looks like this issue still cannot be resolved,” Gobalakrishnan told reporters after a MAICCI emergency meeting in Kuala Lumpur last night.
He said that the country currently has almost five million foreign workers, both documented and undocumented.
“Our request is only for 50,000 workers in seven sectors.
“It is only one per cent of the total number of foreign workers already in the country,” he said.
‘Loosen the restrictions’
The government should, at the very least, loosen the restrictions on the freeze placed on foreign workers in the service industry, Gobalakrishnan said.
Malaysian Indian Textile and General Store Association (Mita) secretary R Maheswary said the government’s statement that there isn’t a freeze on the service industry hiring foreign workers is inaccurate.
“It is true, the government did not completely freeze the service sector, but sub-sectors such as the textile industry, gold, hairdressing, general stores… were all frozen on the taking in of foreign workers.
“Ironically, most of the sectors frozen from taking more foreign workers are related to Indian entrepreneurs,” Maheswary said.
MAICCI said it plans to organise a forum on June 11 in Kuala Lumpur to discuss and handle the lack of foreign workers.
“We plan to invite Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution, Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P Waythamoorthy and a representative from the Home Affairs Ministry.
“The results of this forum and the demands will be handed to these four ministries, as well as to the prime minister.
“We hope our prime minister will take heed of our problems and provide us with a solution before Deepavali,” Gobalakrishnan added.